A German speaker wrote:
As the German saying goes: You never eat the food as hot as it is cooked.
This is a literal translation of the proverb, "Es wird nichts so heiß gegessen, wie es gekocht wird." I wasn't the only person who had never heard that proverb in English. To me it sounded like a great proverb, but I couldn't quite figure out what it should mean. When asked to clarify its application to the question at hand, the German explained:
We don’t take the rules as literally as they are written.
"Wow!" I thought. "That is a great proverb! Why can't I think of an English equivalent?"
Out of curiosity I popped the whole saying into Google translate and it came back with, "Nothing is as bad as it looks." So that doesn't seem right.
Of course German is famous for having a word for everything. But without falling back on ethnic jokes I can't figure out why a simple proverb like this would not have been translated or have an English analog.
Is there something equivalent, or similar, in English? Or any great insights into why there wouldn't be?